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Perpetrator warned for stealing 20 pounds of sea moss in St Andrew

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Police have warned a woman in St Andrew in connection with theft of sea moss
  • Pilot project aims to provide data on sea moss mariculture industry and its viability to Grenada

One woman in the parish of St Andrew was given a strict warning by the officers of the Grenville Police Station in connection to the theft of sea moss from an aquaculture project site at Telescope, ST Andrew.

According to lead consultant on the project, Dr Ashley John, there have been incidences where people, including young children, have been spotted illegally harvesting juvenile sea moss which is being cultivated as a pilot project that aims to provide data to international funding agencies on the sea moss mariculture industry and its viability to Grenada.

Two experimental plots were implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS). The project created La Baye Alternative Livelihood Organisation Inc which spearheads the cultivation and maintenance of plots of sea moss measuring 50,000 square feet. Recently, the site has been plagued by theft and it is estimated that the loss is in excess of $2,000.

“What people need to be aware of is that these projects are protected by mechanisms put in place by the Fisheries Division respectively, when you enter a sea moss plot, note it is not regarded as ‘growing in the wild,’ but instead you are trespassing. These aquaculture projects are funded by international agencies and when they go in and interfere with the growing sea moss, it seriously jeopardises the sustainable livelihoods of those hardworking citizens in the community who have faced the hot sun, water for hours within a three month period.”

Dr John said it is also distasteful that the penetrator would allow young children to partake in such a heinous act which resulted in the theft of half of the entire experimental plot. “I arrived around 11 am on Thursday and I saw a group of children in the sea with what appeared to be a seine and I saw a lady on the shore and she was standing next to a big heap of sea moss. So I observed and realised that the children were picking heaps of sea moss and throwing them into the seine and then bringing them onto the shore.”

This unfortunate incident has prompted Dr John and President of the La Baye Alternative Livelihood Organisation Inc, Willan Andrew, to take several measures to protect their investment.

The first strategy that will be put in place is to increase their level of surveillance using both manmade patrol of the area and use of technology. Secondly, the organisation has vowed to work closely with the RGPF to ensure that people are deterred from trespassing. But one of the strategies to be put in place, Dr John indicated is to encourage people to get involved with sea moss farming and harvesting by offering to train them.

“We want to encourage people that if they are interested in this project to come and speak with Willan Andrew and be incorporated into the project where they will be trained, and be allocated a plot at the right time, so they don’t have to steal,” he said.

The consultant is of the view that the theft of sea moss is being driven by the economic benefit that can be derived from sea moss cultivation as plots in Telescope Bay and in Union Island are being affected.

Due to the reoccurrence of theft, Dr John believes that retailers of sea moss must request a receipt of proof of sea moss plot ownership from their suppliers to ensure that these supplies obtain sea moss legitimately. Furthermore, he added that the species of sea moss cultivated is known as the Eucheuma Cottonii is not indigenous to Grenada and was imported, therefore it will be easy to spot since it is quite different from the local sea moss.

He said the organisation is presently testing sales in the United States and in Canada which is a testament to the export potential of sea moss, but most importantly the project acts as a safe haven for the regeneration of marine life. “We are now testing sales in the United States and in Canada and then it is also helping with the climate change variation in the area because we dive this bay and we recognise that a lot of the young fishes were missing. But thanks to the project, now that the plots are in place we now have the population of young fish coming back because these plots provide an ecosystem to replenish the fish stock.”

Under Grenada’s laws regarding praedial larceny, any person who commits an offence against this act shall be liable, except where some other penalty has been provided by this act, to a fine of not less than $3,000 or more than $10,000 and imprisonment for 24 months. Dr John said the perpetrator can consider herself lucky as the force of the law was not administered since it was their decision not to pursue the matter further.

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Canada to provide biometric processing for visa applications in Grenada – NOW Grenada

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NOTICE: DATES HAVE BEEN EXTENDED

The Government of Canada, in partnership with the Government of Grenada, is pleased to announce that Canadian officials have extended the dates and will be in Grenada from Monday 18 to Friday 22, November 2019 to carry out biometric processing for persons wishing to obtain visas.

As part of the visa application process, Grenadian nationals must provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) when applying for a Canadian visitor visa, study, work, or temporary residence permit, or for permanent residence. During the upcoming November dates, Grenadian visa applicants may take the opportunity to provide biometric information in Grenada rather than travelling abroad.

If you are planning to travel to Canada for study, business, tourism, family reunions or other reasons, please complete your online visa application as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this opportunity in November. Canada is pleased that officials will be able to travel to meet applicants on-site at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort in November, and it is hoped that this eased convenience will be fully taken advantage of. Outside of this visit, standard procedures remain for Grenadian nationals to travel to biometrics collection points in Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, or Trinidad and Tobago at all other times.

This exercise is geared towards the following individuals:

  • Grenadians who anticipate travel to Canada;
  • Persons who have already applied whether online or by mail for a visa, work or study permit or for permanent residence and have received their Biometric Instruction Letter; and
  • Nationals of other biometric information-required countries residing in Grenada planning to travel to Canada.

In order to book an appointment for biometrics collection, please write to bdgtn@international.gc.ca referencing the visa application file number. Canadian officials will be pleased to assist applicants with both appointments and the required Biometrics Instruction Letter during the hours listed. Officials will not be collecting applications or biometric information from applicants who have not received this letter.

All applicants will be required to bring their Biometrics Instruction Letter with them in order to have their biometrics taken. The biometrics collection will take place from Monday, 18 November to Friday, 22 November 2019 from 8 am to 5 pm at Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, Grenada.

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Vincentian duo awaiting extradition hearing out on bail

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Anlee Parsons (left) and Hyah Browne being escorted by a police officer

Two Vincentians awaiting an extradition hearing to determine whether they should be deported to Grenada to be charged with the robbery of a credit union in Carriacou, have been granted bail.

Anlee Parsons, and Hyah Browne, represented by attorney Grant Connell gained freedom following the submission by their lawyer of an affidavit before the Serious Offences Court this week.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that there is contention expressed about the CCTV footage captured outside the Grenada Union of Teachers Credit Union (GUTCU) which authorities are claiming shows Parsons and Browne.

Additionally, it is said that there is also evidence that Browne, who works at the Central Sewage and Water Authority(CWSA), and Parsons, who works with a contractor, were signed in to work on the day of the robbery, October 11, 2019.

On Tuesday, November 12, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne asked Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche if he had any objection to the bail application.

Delplesche’s answer to this was no.

The chief magistrate commented that there were some interesting issues highlighted in the affidavit, but did not elaborate.

She set bail in the amount of $3000 with one surety, and ordered that the two Carriere residents report to the Mesopotamia police station every Monday, between 6am and 6pm.

They are to surrender their passports, and Identification Cards to the court.

In the interim, the prosecution awaits documents pending from Grenada for the extradition hearing on December 10.

Arrest warrants were issued in Grenada for Browne and Parsons before they were picked up by police on October 25. After being taken into custody, the duo were brought to court and had been on remand since, awaiting the extradition hearing.

The robbery of the GUTCU has shaken the usually peaceful Carriacou, “The Grenada Informer” reports.

The publication noted that, according to “lawmen” two men walked into the credit union on the said date, one armed with a gun. The men demanded money, after leading the workers to the back of the building, and putting a gun to the head of the security guard to lead him somewhere inside of the building.

Money was stacked into a bag. The amount which the two robbers who entered the GUTCU that day stole is $26,205.60, according to the charge that may be put to the two men.

The Grenada informer noted that there was a getaway vehicle awaiting the robbers, and the alleged driver of this vehicle has been charged with conspiracy to rob.

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Government concludes more union and staff associations negotiations – NOW Grenada

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Government’s Negotiating Team (GNT) has concluded negotiations with another trade union as well as the staff associations which represent prison and police officers.

The agreements with the Grenada Manual, Maritime and Intellectual Workers Union; Police Gazetted Officers Association; Police Welfare Association and Prison Officers Welfare Association were brokered during talks late Thursday and early Friday morning. The respective agreements will be signed on Monday.

All public officers represented by the unions and staff associations which have concluded negotiations, will benefit from annual increases of 4% for each of the years covered in the new collective labour agreement.

The 12% increase over three years is the largest settlement for public sector employees in the last 20 years. The overall cost of the settlement is $43.5 million which means government will have to undertake extensive reallocation to fund the agreed wage increases.

Another union, the Bank and General workers Union will seek the approval of its membership before agreeing to the proposed increases.

Agreement with the joint negotiating team from the Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU) and the Public Workers Union (PWU) is still outstanding. The joint GTAWU/PWU team is demanding increases of 5% for each of the three years. This would add $59.6 million to the government’s wage bill, an amount which is not affordable or sustainable and which will breach the Fiscal Responsibility Law.

Additionally, effective January 2020, government is expected to meet the increase in NIS rates for all of its employees.

The GNT awaits the recommendations of the Labour Commissioner who is conciliating in the dispute. The GNT remains hopeful that there will be an amicable resolution.

The Grenada Union of Teachers has already signed its collective labour agreement with the GNT following the conclusion of talks earlier this week.

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